The levelized cost of energy from wind turbines is lower than every other generating source except for natural gas and hydro. It comes as no surprise that in 2012, 42 percent of the new electricity generating capacity in the U.S. was from wind — with over 45,000 operating utility-scale turbines.
Wind turbines are sprouting up all over, ranging from small 2-5 kw rooftop units for homes, to 500-kw+ utility-scale turbines in coastal areas and windy mountain passes. The economics of wind turbines will continue to improve as technology advances and electric rates rise. Fortunately, electricity generated from wind (usually in the evenings) matches up very well with solar generated electricity during the day.
This week’s Energy Show on Renewable Energy World talks about the technology and economics of wind turbines, big and small, as well as some the siting limitations you may encounter. The bottom line is that if you live in an isolated area with high electric rates and wind speeds over 10 mph, a wind turbine is definitely worth considering.
About The Energy Show
As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don’t have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.
The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we’ll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices.
About Your Host
Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.
His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.
Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies. He’s been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.
Lead image: Green microphone via Shutterstock